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View Full Version : 2.8 or 1.8t maintenance?



clumsyme
06-13-2013, 08:18 AM
Hey guys I am just getting out of the MK4 game
http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr13/clumsymccabe/image.jpeg
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I am looking into A4s, and I was wondering what motor you guys would pick if the car had 160000 miles, namely the 2 on the b5 section for sale. both cars are in great condition, i just dont know what would be better maintenance wise?

Artiemas
06-13-2013, 09:09 AM
2.8, if you searched, is leaps and bounds more reliable than the 1.8t. The 1.8t has sludge issues, and you have all those turbo related components that pretty have a 100% failure rate, as in, you are going to have to replace them at some point.

A lot of the threads on here, are dealing with the 1.8t. I.e. the coolant flange in the back that is almost always leaking coolant unless you really, really do it right (new flange, o-rings, etc.)

Not to say that the 1.8t is a bad engine, as people here have 200k+ on their 1.8t, but I really doubt they've had less issues than a 2.8 owner with 200k miles.

Things to look for in a 2.8.
Your Valve cover gaskets will leak.
The wires and coil pack are often the cause of a slight misfire and idle bounce.
Your vacuum lines are probably rotted to nothing, and it's just the cloth casing at this point, and you have massive air leaks. Its an easy job, takes 30-45 minutes to replace them all.

There's a lot more, and there are a lot of general shared issues that the B5 platform share between the engines that deal with chassis related components like the front upper and lower control arms. 100% failure rate on those, too.

It's really just a matter of reading into it all.

The 2.8 is slow and heavy and has almost no aftermarket compoents besides a super charger. At that point/price, it's better to do a 2.7t(t) swap, or a V8 swap. There are documented build threads for both.

Cgoon009
06-13-2013, 09:22 AM
^ What he said

These cars are getting old, meaning you will have to work on them more often then a newer car. If you like working on cars, then this is fine, if you don't...well that's another story. I love my 2.8, its not very fast, but I love it none the less. If you take care of these cars, they are super fun to drive.

clumsyme
06-13-2013, 10:22 AM
I am perfectly fine working on cars and I have some experience with the 1.8t from my jetta and a roommates passat. I am not looking to go super fast, I am just looking for something that will take me through my last year of college and the first few years of post college life of being broke. So even though the 1.8t i am looking at it pretty well rebuilt and and the 2.8 has a perfect maintenance record.

I know there are going to be issues but I am trying to figure out which one will have bigger issues that a few friends and I wont be able to tackle?

Also another big thing is that the 2.8 is a northern car and the 1.8t hasnt been out of FL

Cgoon009
06-13-2013, 10:47 AM
I am perfectly fine working on cars and I have some experience with the 1.8t from my jetta and a roommates passat. I am not looking to go super fast, I am just looking for something that will take me through my last year of college and the first few years of post college life of being broke. So even though the 1.8t i am looking at it pretty well rebuilt and and the 2.8 has a perfect maintenance record.

I know there are going to be issues but I am trying to figure out which one will have bigger issues that a few friends and I wont be able to tackle?

Also another big thing is that the 2.8 is a northern car and the 1.8t hasnt been out of FL

Good! If you can work on them, that's a great start. I would personally go with perfect records, because well maintained 2.8s hold up well. Has the timing belt been done recently? As for the snow and salt, check for rust when you go to look at it. Audis have a lining that really cuts down on that problem, but check none the less. Sounds like the 2.8 may be for you. Cant tell you though, without seeing the cars in person.

clumsyme
06-13-2013, 10:55 AM
The timing belt and water pump were done in the past 3 months on the 1.8t. On the 2.8 that set of maintenance was done at 106k now at 164k.

Also I found out the 1.8t has been apr stage 1 for awhile now ie 15k+

BlackLock_A4
06-13-2013, 11:08 AM
My 1.8 has 150K, bought with 90K. It's fine when it comes to reliability, just need to stay ahead of the curve. I'm sure that's how it is with the 2.8 as well.

woolveren
06-13-2013, 02:25 PM
I feel both 1.8t and 2.8 are kind of same when it comes to reliability. From my experience so far, if you do preventive maintenance on these cars, they will be trouble free.

This said, I bought my 1.8t when it was around 195k miles and now I've got 255k miles on it.

You will see usual "audi electrical falures" on these cars such as failing ABS modules, Center LCD/ climate control screen errors, Airbag lights turning ON and some vacuum related issues(of course these cars are more than 12 yr old and rubber hoses may crack). Problems with engine usually comes up as coil pack/ ICM/ SAI pump/MAF failures and the failure of the "Turbo" and related parts. So if you can deal with all these issues (or have the money to fix it if giving to a mechanic), then I would say go with these cars. If these cars are ignored in maintenance, then they will become a MONEY PIT.

Artiemas
06-13-2013, 02:27 PM
The timing belt and water pump were done in the past 3 months on the 1.8t. On the 2.8 that set of maintenance was done at 106k now at 164k.

Also I found out the 1.8t has been apr stage 1 for awhile now ie 15k+

Tune will usually mean people drive tghe car a little hard. The turbo is probably on it's way out.

Timing belt for 60k. Meh. It'll last you till 90k, but I would do it just for the peace of mind. Maybe not right when you get the car, but in the near future.

1986nate
06-13-2013, 03:12 PM
My 1.8 has 150K, bought with 90K. It's fine when it comes to reliability, just need to stay ahead of the curve. I'm sure that's how it is with the 2.8 as well.

+1 as long as you're prepared in advance for the maintenance, the 1.8t can be great. I got mine at 200k miles and had clearly been neglected. (the timing belt was cracking and close to breaking) I've put 50k miles on in a year and a half and while I have likely replaced just about everything maintenance wise on the car, it's easy to work on and much easier than a MK 1.8t. (I came from specializing in Subarus and find my 99.5 1.8t much easier to work on) I've had random issues pop up but have all been my own fault being in a rush.
Also, I'm sure my A4 sees more abuse than a typical truck. I regularly tow ~4500+ lbs with it as well as take it mudding/offroad. I've had the engine hydro-locked (water in the cylinders locking the engine tight) and it still burns/leaks no oil at all 36k miles later.

Though, if you're lazy and just want a DD that will get you places, the 2.8 is good. As many have said, it will have leaky valve covers and other oil leaks, and will need all vacuum lines and PCV breather hoses replaced. I do them regularly here at work.

redline380
06-13-2013, 04:27 PM
Timing belt for 60k. Meh. It'll last you till 90k, but I would do it just for the peace of mind.


isnt the audi recommended interval 80k? and people start snapping them and wrecking tensioners just after 60k?

you have 1.8t experience. i'd stick with the 1.8. less cylinders, more engine space to work, more fun and faster when chipped. if you are doing work yourself, id get the 1.8 hands down

ianwpb
06-13-2013, 04:51 PM
Also another big thing is that the 2.8 is a northern car and the 1.8t hasnt been out of FL

Get the 1.8 then. You'll be happy when you go to do your control arms and your pinchbolt comes out like mine did..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIqxQwIuZ3k

b5v6
06-14-2013, 09:10 AM
If you're perfectly fine working on cars then 1.8T all day. I started with a 2.8 V6 and shortly after picked up a 1.8T (owned both at the same time). As the mileage added up I got rid of the 2.8 because anything serious would not be enjoyable to fix (do just about all my work myself). The 1.8T I'm not worried about working on, there's plenty of room in the engine bay and if the engine needs to be pulled it is very light once everything is removed.

From someone who has owned both, 1.8T all the way. I've been working to make mine more reliable so you can negate some of the common serious issues.

Artiemas
06-14-2013, 09:20 AM
You guys are saying "I'm working on making my 1.8t reliable."

I'm in CT, and the car I have has been all it's life. Yeah, boo hoo the control arms were a bitch, but it's not going to decide whether I choose a perfectly maintained V6 or a chipped 1.8t that was probably driven hard.
The V6 is already reliable. Idon'tgetit.